No Heroes, No Villains
By Steven J. Phillips
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780394725314, 256pp.)
Publication Date: February 12, 1978
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On June 28, 1972 in a South Bronx subway station, John Skagen, a white off-duty policeman on his way home, suddenly and without apparent provocation, ordered James Richardson, a black man on his way to work, to get against the wall and put his hands up. Richardson had a gun, and the two exchanged shots. In the melee that followed, Skagen was fatally wounded by a cop who rushed to the scene. In the ensuing trial, William Kunstler handled Richardson's defense and the author of this book, then assistant district attorney, prosecuted the case. Here is a first-hand, behind-the-scenes account of every step of the proceedings.
Steven Phillips was born in New York City and educated at Williams College and Columbia Law School. In 1971 he joined the staff of the district attorney of Bronx County. Between 1973 and 1975 he successfully prosecuted more than a dozen murder cases, and appeared several times before the highest appellate courts in New York State. Currently he is associated with New York State. Currently he is associated Kreindler & Kreindler, a leading New York civil-litigation firm.
Mr. Phillips lives in New York City with his wife and daughter.
"Sober and straightforward, and instructive in the way that Anthony Lewis was in Gideon's Trumpet."- The New York Times Book Review